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Not Forgotten (Isaiah 49:15b-16)

You are not forgotten

Almost every Christian, at some point in life, feels like God has forgotten them or at least forgotten the situation they are going through. But it simply isn’t true. In the book of Isaiah, the prophet writes of coming judgement on the nation of Israel and in the midst of judgment, God tenderly says, “I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my Hands.” We can find here some great truths of comfort and reassurance for the times that it “feels” like God has forgotten us.

You are inscribed

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The first word to notice in these verses is “inscribed.” God didn’t use a #2 pencil with a pink eraser so that He can wipe you away when you displease Him. He didn’t use a Papermate pen that can wash away with soap and water. He didn’t use a Sharpie permanent marker that can eventually wear off.

Being inscribed is permanent. The word used in the Bible means “cut into,” “to carve.” Once you become a child of God your name is there and it will never go away. No matter how many times we mess up. No matter how many times we slip back into that sin that constantly nags at us. It doesn’t matter how much we falter in our faith. No matter how often we choose our will over His. No matter how much turmoil is in our world. And it doesn’t matter what pandemic hits. Permanent is forever. 

My cousin perms my hair for me and she gives me glorious curls that most people think are natural because she is so good at what she does – but that “perm” is really not permanent. As hair grows (much too fast!) I’m back in her chair getting it cut permed again. My hair might outgrow it’s perm – but we can never make our inscribing un-permanent from the hand of God. It just isn’t possible.

Security in being inscribed

When God engraves us in the palm of His hands there is absolutely nothing that can undo it. His tender love and mercy is always being extended and His love toward us never changes. His love is not based on how He feels about us in that moment. He doesn’t love us any less right now than He did yesterday. David wrote in Psalm 13:5, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” We can trust in God’s love for us – at all times.

Who Did the Engraving?

The second thing to notice is who did the engraving. No one held the hand of God down against His will and branded your name in His hand. This verse tells us that God himself did the engraving. Our Salvation is only possible through God’s invitation and the work that Christ did on the cross.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.” 

Every part of our salvation is accomplished through God. We only accept it through faith as we call on His name, confessing our sins and asking Christ to save us.

Where are you engraved?

The third thing to notice is the location of where he carved your name – in the palm of His hands. Not in an obscure place, but on His Hands where he sees your name constantly. It isn’t hidden. It’s there for all the heavenly hosts to see. You are his!

In John 10:28-29, Jesus says that He gives eternal life and that no one can snatch us out of the palm of His Father’s hand. In Psalm 139:10, David wrote that the hand of God would lead Him and the right hand of God would hold him. The right hand is significant in the Bible because it was believed that the right hand was the hand of strength.  If a solider was left handed, he was trained to fight right handed. God holds us with His strength, which means we are secure and safe no matter what life brings. He calls us by name and we are his (Isaiah 43:1).

In the moments where it feels as if God has forgotten you, simply remember the palm of His hands. Your name is there and with His right hand, He is holding you by His Almighty strength – forever.

#notforgotten #inscribed #engaved

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